Isoul H. Harris is the Editor-at-Large at Upscale Magazine and his work has also been featured in publications including People, InStyle, The New York Post, Ocean Drive, Vegas and more. He recently sat down to talk with Tameka Foster Raymond for the Sep/Oct issue of Upscale Magazine. Article attached.
Read excerpts from the interview which hits stands this week;
“This Oakland Native is a walking contradiction. She’s sophisticated yet around-the-way; Tough but vulnerable. She’s serious minded but always joking and laughing. On blogs she’s ripped apart for unflattering pictures; in person she’s attractive and chic.”
“As a world renowned celebrity stylist she’s created memorable looks for Lauryn Hill (bangles, boots, Balenciaga), Jay-Z (the button-downs), Toni Braxton (the barely there Richard Tyler) and Usher (the magnificently fitted coat he donned at the inauguration was her ode to a retiring Valentino.)”
“She takes me on a tour of her luxurious trilevel condo (no it’s not her home). It’s more like a boutique hotel than headquarters for her design and styling company, Swanky Image Group. The entire third floor has a living room, kitchen and bedroom – is fragrant with Jo Malone and Acqua Di Parma candles. Lanvin and Axil Vervoordt books adorn the coffee table. Her almost floor to ceiling bookshelf boasts titles like Terry McMillan’s “Waiting to Exhale,” “The Way of the Wizard” by Deepak Chopra and Robin Norwood’s “Women Who Love Too Much.””
“Though the blogosphere reports that the couple has been separated since July 2008, Tameka says her husband threw her an elaborate party to celebrate her birthday this year which logically counters the separation reports.”
“I understand where all the negativity comes from”, she says. “Unfortunately I think that some black women are – subconsciously – not in love with the image they see in the mirror. Therefore in turn they do not love someone like me. I look too much like them. They would definitely have preferred my husband marry someone more exotic looking. I was not given a fair shot. People passed judgment without getting to know me. How can you get the entire concept of who I am from a blog?”
“The dissolution of marriage is always upsetting. You have the expectation that it will work. But, you know what? it didn’t work. But he’s (Usher) a great guy. I will always love him.”